Applying Chinese Philosophy to Everyday Life

China is an ancient civilization spanning thousands of years. In Chinese, the word for "civilization" indicates the written language, so much written ancient wisdom has been thus passed down through the generations on everyday living.

The main philosophy in Chinese thought is Taoism, also spelled Daoism. This simply is a word that stands for the way to live a life or to take certain actions. The magnum opus for this thought is the Tao Te Ching, or Dao De Jing, if written using standardized pinyin. Laozi (previously written as Lao Tzu or Lao Tsu), or the old wise one, is considered the author of this text. Japanese Zen philosophy owes much of its roots to Taoism. Even though some circles consider Taoist thought as a religion, it actually has much practical uses, and has been applied to various facets of life including the martial arts (Kung Fu, Tai Chi, those in turn which gave rise to concepts such as karate or Tae Kwan Do), feng shui (or in modern terminology this is known through various branches as architecture, interior design, landscape architecture), and qi gong (which is used in various meditation practices that focus on the breath). Even laissez faire economics, or the free market from Adam Smith, is thought to have originated from Taoist thought.

Dale Carnegie's famous 1936 "How to Win Friends and Influence People" denotes that Taoism uses a lot of analogies in living to water, where living is similar to water flowing downhill. This is a natural way to live. Unfortunately, most people practice the opposite, which is to live more artificially. Basically, Taoist principles are rather scientific in nature, where Taoist masters recommend that people obtain their inspiration for living from the natural world, and learn as much from there as possible. The reason is that nature has basically worked out what works in the world, and all humans need to do is to follow that natural way of life.

For more information on living this mode of life, a good book on time management that emphasizes Taoist Chinese philosophy and applies those principles are discussed in Where Did Time Fly.

Life Skills > General Life Skills > Applying Chinese Philosophy to Everyday Life


disclaimer  |   privacy policy

Last Checked 2015